Former half-term governor of Alaska and current Fox News commentator Sarah Palin spoke at Liberty University's convocation on Thursday to attack atheists and promote her new book Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, which also attacks atheists.
RawStory.com reports that Palin told Liberty University students that Thomas Jefferson would oppose "angry atheists armed with an attorney" and "those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas" (video below).
“He would recognize those who would want to try to ignore that Jesus is the reason for the season, those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas,” claimed Palin. “He would recognize that, for the most part, these are angry atheists armed with an attorney. They are not the majority of Americans.”
Palin then claimed that Thomas Jefferson would take her side in the supposed "War on Christmas" over lawn decorations, which brought applause from the Christian students.
“Why is it they get to claim some offense taken when they see a plastic Jewish family on somebody’s lawn, a nativity scene, that’s basically what it is right?” said Palin. “Oh, they take such offense, though. They say that it physically even can hurt them and mentally it distresses them so they sue, right?”
Palin did not mention by anyone by name who ever claimed a nativity scene would "physically hurt them."
“But heaven forbid we claim any type of offense when we say, ‘Wait, you’re stripping Jesus from the reason, as the reason for the season,’ but heaven forbid we claim any type of offense,” added Palin. “So that double standard, I think Thomas Jefferson would certainly recognize it and stand up and he wouldn’t let anybody tell him to sit down and shut up.”
According to RightWingWatch.org, The Jefferson Bible, written by Thomas Jefferson, strips away mentions of the virgin birth and angels from the Biblical Books of Matthew and Luke.
Liberty University, a Christan college in Virginia, is giving a scholarship to high school senior David Withrow, who recently admitted to lying about an incident in which he brought two shotguns to his school campus (video below).
The senior allegedly brought the guns with him to Princeton High School on April 29.
Withrow claimed that he accidentally left the shotguns in his truck after a weekend of skeet shooting and did not intend to bring them to school.
The 18 year old said he tried to get permission from school administrators to take the guns home, but instead was suspended and charged by police with a felony for bringing a weapon onto educational property.
At the time, pro-gun advocates claimed that Withrow was a victim of political correctness and unfair gun control laws. A Twitter and T-shirt campaign were created with the hashmark “#FreeCole.”
According to WRAL-TV, as a result, Withrow got scholarship offers from Liberty University and Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
However, during his May 16 court appearance, Withrow admitted: "I was not truthful...I did in fact know that the two shotguns were in my truck on school property. I did not mean to hurt anyone by my actions."
After Withrow plead guilty, the felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. He received a 45-day suspended sentence, reports WRAL-TV.
On May 16, Withrow wrote on Twitter: “I’ve already talked to Mr. Jerry Falwell Jr. He told me not to worry about it and be at Liberty in the fall!”
“We … knew that he might have to publicly take the blame, whether he was at fault or not, in order to have the charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement on May 17. "I believe that is exactly what happened here.”
“In any event, Liberty University is pleased that the charges against Cole Withrow were reduced to a misdemeanor, but we still believe this is more punishment than he deserved.”
District Attorney Susan Doyle said that a school security video showed Withrow speaking with other students at the time he claimed he discovered the guns in his truck.
Sheriff’s deputy Adam Davis said the barrel of one gun was actually near the gas pedal in Withrow's truck, so it's highly unlikely Withrow forgot about the guns.
Davis also said that Withrow was texting and laughing as he taken to jail: "Ha, ha, my friends are going to start a petition about why I'm being charged with this."
Despite the deceptions by Withrow, Liberty University Communications Director John Moore said the scholarship will provide “whatever he needs” to come to Liberty.
David Cole Withrow, a senior at North Carolina’s Princeton High School, was arrested on felony charges after he brought two unloaded shotguns to school and left the weapons in his car. The school system superintendent made provisions for Withrow, forgoing the standard 365-day suspension in favor of allowing Withrow to continue his education and graduate at another school.
Kim Boykin, a family friend of the Withrow family, told reporters that David is “an Eagle Scout, a guy who made a mistake, and he doesn't deserve to have his diploma not have Princeton High School on it. He doesn't deserve to not walk across the stage with his friends that he's known since pre-school."
Things might seem rough for David at the moment, but his plans for higher education actually look rather promising. Withrow has received two scholarship offers, one from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas and another from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Both are private Christian schools; Liberty University was led by televangelist Jerry Falwell. His son, Jerry Falwell Jr., said, "We think [David] is a victim of a system that is a little bit, maybe, too overly sensitive to certain things. There has to be room for honest mistakes, and right now, I don't think the law does that."
This is an odd turn of events for David Withrow. On the one hand, he still faces criminal charges and expects to go to court on May 16th. His chances for attending college might be seriously affected by the criminal charges.
On the other hand, universities giving scholarships to Withrow for breaking the law sets a dangerous precedent. It’s almost as if these universities are rewarding Withrow for bringing a gun to school. Could this be enough to persuade other students to fish for scholarships by violating the law?
Probably not, but it does create an odd dynamic between students, universities, and the legal system. Are these universities doing the right thing by offering Withrow a break after allegedly making a simple mistake, or are they treading into dangerous territory by incentivizing illegal activity?
Thanks to a loosening of restrictions by school officials, Liberty University students will now be able to carry loaded guns into class on the school’s Lynchburg, Va., campus.
Liberty, the largest religion-affiliated U.S. school, will also allow university staff and visitors to bring firearms into university buildings on campus. Guns will still be banned from residence halls, even with a permit.
"Students ought to have the ability to protect themselves," said Josh Hetzler, a law student who helped draft the updated policy. "We've seen a number of instances here in the nation recently were schools are particularly vulnerable. They're gun free zones, except that the bad guys still get the guns."
The school started allowing faculty and staff to bring their guns into buildings if they had a permit in 2011. Students and visitors were allowed to carry guns in cars and on the campus grounds at that time. The university has an enrollment of 74,000, but the majority of its students, 62,000, take online courses.
Colleges generally do not allow the carrying of concealed handguns, reports The Huffington Post.
“I think it's good that Liberty is a little more open than some schools, and I think it’ll continue to create a higher level of security on campus than what was found at Virginia Tech," Liberty chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr said.
“I think it’s a positive thing for security that there’s at least a chance that somebody responsible will be carrying a firearm when something like (the Virginia Tech massacre) happens.”
A spokesman for the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, John Johnson, disagrees: “A student with a concealed weapon is unlikely to prevent a mass shooting or crime. On the other hand, the unintended consequences of gun possession by students and others -- a shooting during an argument or dispute, attempted suicide, unintentional shooting, etc. -- are real and make the college campus more dangerous every hour of every day."